117 Copenhagen Family Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise to visit places we had never been. We spent extra time in Copenhagen and enjoyed our visit there. The ship was very nice, clean and well maintained and all of the crew were gracious and helpful. The restaurants on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to visit places we had never been. We spent extra time in Copenhagen and enjoyed our visit there. The ship was very nice, clean and well maintained and all of the crew were gracious and helpful. The restaurants on the ship were good but the food in the buffet was so good that we chose to eat in the buffet most of the time. The excursions are not worth the money or effort. We spent far too much time riding buses to get to and from the excursions we chose and not nearly enough time visiting each site. The Bahama stop was a total waste of time. By the time you reached the island by tender, it was just about time to get back in line to get a tender back to the ship. We had about 1 hour on the island and then spent a good hour waiting in line to get back to the ship. Miami was worse, we were rushed through our excursion to get back to the terminal over an hour early and sat for 2 hours because Customs and Immigration would not let anyone get on the ship until every passenger was off the ship. We did get some free time in Ireland which we used to visit a beautiful cathedral and the Titanic museum. All in all it was a good cruise but if we did it again we would skip the shore excursions and just stay on the ship because they are not worth what you have to pay. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have never cruised before, and chose the specific cruise we went on, due to the availability of kid’s activities for our 10 year old daughter, the destinations throughout the Baltics and a decent price. Getting on board as newbies was ... Read More
We have never cruised before, and chose the specific cruise we went on, due to the availability of kid’s activities for our 10 year old daughter, the destinations throughout the Baltics and a decent price. Getting on board as newbies was a bit stressful, as we did not know the process and there was little information about what to expect. We also was more stressed than was required as we roamed around trying to find out how to register a credit card to our cruise card (which wasn’t obvious on the machines) and find out how the kids club works and how/where to go. As it turned out our daughter never gelled with the kids club, as she was hitting the top end of her age group and felt they were being treated childishly and there were few kids of her age. I did get the feeling a lot of other kids truly enjoyed it, just not ours. The boat was generally fairly busy and the common areas (particularly the buffet and the pool areas) could be very crammed and chaotic. At times the central inside area was blocked by other activities. The dining area was great, with a new menu every day, so there was always lots of choice. We did ultimately enjoy our cruise and had some nice on land days, both self served and on excursion, though it will probably be better if we do another cruise now we know what to expect. The staff was generally attentive, smiley and professional, and the fact that all gratuities were paid centrally was more comfortable, as we come from a culture where wages are fair and tipping is only applicable if the service is exceptional. Disembarkation was brilliant, taking us 10 minutes from we were called till we were in a taxi. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We flew onto Copenhagen the day before the cruise making our way to the ship on our own. This cruise went to many places in northern and Eastern Europe in the former Soviet block. We enjoy visiting historic and UNESCO sites and St. ... Read More
We flew onto Copenhagen the day before the cruise making our way to the ship on our own. This cruise went to many places in northern and Eastern Europe in the former Soviet block. We enjoy visiting historic and UNESCO sites and St. Petersburg’s palaces and churches and the Peterhof Palace and gardens were wonderfully beautiful on a grand scale. In the evening we enjoyed a variety of traditional Russian folk dance and song complete with an intermission that included pastries and champagne in a beautiful private palace. In Finland we toured the city and drove into the countryside to visit a classic old village and then off to a vineyard at an old farm for a wonderful luncheon and in Estonia we toured a lovely mid-evil town from the 1600’s that survived WW2. In Germany we visited Rostock which was heavily bombed during the war because of the submarine and aircraft manufacturing that existed. Today it’s the home of large shipyards which build cruise ships among other vessels. After touring the cathedral which houses a calendar clock made in the 1420’s and still operating with its original works we drove to the Schwerin Castle. In Stockholm the Vasa Museum and a walk through the old city were spectacular. The Vasa was a 17th century wooden sailing ship with two gun decks that was unstable and had sunk during its maiden voyage in front of the royal palace in 1628. Because the water in the Baltic has such a low salinity level the ship remained nearly completely intact. The visit to Oslo was too short but the sail away through the fjord was beautiful. We had previously visited Oslo so this time we only took a boat cruise around the area. The city itself is beautiful in there are sculptures everywhere the most impressive being in the Vigeland Sculpture Park where hundreds of lifelike granite sculptures depict every stage of human emotion. At the conclusion of the cruise everything during the disembarkation went extremely smoothly and efficiently. Our bags were delivered directly to the airport where we retrieved them for our flight home. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are a family of four, two parent and two kids ages 8 and 11. We selected this cruise and specifically, the aft-facing Haven one-bedroom suite because it perfectly fit our needs. Bottom line, if we did not stay in a Haven suite and ... Read More
We are a family of four, two parent and two kids ages 8 and 11. We selected this cruise and specifically, the aft-facing Haven one-bedroom suite because it perfectly fit our needs. Bottom line, if we did not stay in a Haven suite and experience all that the Haven has to offer, we probably would not pick this boat or Norwegian again. Pros: * Haven, Haven, Haven. A game changer. The exclusive pool, deck, hot tubs, bar / lounge, restaurant, and concierge was worth the added cost. We rarely had drinks or ate outside of the Haven (aside from three meals at the specialty restaurants). The quality of service was far superior to the service you received at any bar outside of Haven in the general areas. The Haven food quality is very good. Service is impeccable. * We had a one-bedroom aft-facing corner suite. It was amazing. The balcony makes all the difference. So spacious that we were able to exercise with plenty of room to spare. I read review(s) where folks complained about noise, smoke, etc. Nothing negative to say. The inside was very nice also. Two full baths, plenty of closets and great water pressure in the master bath. * The chicken wings at O'Sheehan's is pretty good! * Casinos were fine - nothing special. It was more about the people you met as you played the games. I lucked out and had a great time meeting folks. The craps dealers were hit or miss. Half were very professional and worked with us, the other half were angry and chose to enforce "rules" throughout the trip (dice are too high, you're taking too long, hands, drinks over the railing, etc.) * Soft serve ice cream in the main buffet restaurant was a hit with the kids * The activities for the kids were great. In many ways better than Disney cruises (although Disney's shows are great). There were not as many kids on this Norwegian cruise, providing whatever kids on the ship to more access to the climbing wall, ropes course and water slides. HUGE benefit. The sport court was also very well maintained and fun. Cons: * Tipping and service charges. Horrible system. I asked the staff and they either didn't know the specifics or chose not to disclose what they knew. The $18.50 per day per person service charge is dumb. Just embed it into the cost especially since we're told its essentially us paying the staffs' salaries. We were told that essentially this service charge "went to anyone we DIDN'T interact with", like the cooks, cleaners, etc. However, for anyone we did interact with, we're expected to "tip" them. Not a big deal, however, there's this issue of all prepaid gratuities from any drink or meal package you purchased. As it turns out this gratuity is pooled and shared among all service crew. The icing on the cake is that we were told the Haven staff - restaurant waiters/waitresses, bartenders, may or may not receive a penny of this even though they're the one's taking care of us 90% of the time. I'm getting mad just writing / reliving this. The point is, you will get nickel and dimed with service fees, gratuities, tip, etc. Just be warned. But also, be prepared and bring small bills onboard to take care of the staff throughout your cruise. Its the right thing to do despite Norwegian's idiotic system. * Quality of food prepared in the Haven restaurant was in the 4 - 4.5 range. The quality of food prepared elsewhere was between 3 - 3.5. The Noodle restaurant was absolutely horrible - 1.5. The Garden (buffet) was hit or miss as to be expected. The specialty restaurants - Teppinyaki, Cuccino, and the Brazilian steak restaurant were all marginal at best. Actually, Cuccino and the Brazilian steak were actually pretty bad. Skip it. Ocean Blue and sushi were pretty good. BOTTOMLINE: Haven all the way, bring cash for tips, lower your expectations regarding food quality, and know the kids will have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We arived one day before embarkation to Copenhagen after a week in other parts of Europa so we mostly just explored the nyhavn area which is very pretty. Embarkation itself was super smooth we maybe took 15 min to board, rooms where ready ... Read More
We arived one day before embarkation to Copenhagen after a week in other parts of Europa so we mostly just explored the nyhavn area which is very pretty. Embarkation itself was super smooth we maybe took 15 min to board, rooms where ready at 1:30p and our luggage arrived at night as expected. The ship is beautiful, we could definitely tell it was recently renovated no complains on cleaniless and the public areas are spacious. We stayed in a family room for 4 for the first time and at first we where confused as the sofa bed was clearly only meant for 1 person. Only by asking around did we realize there was a ceiling bed that could be opened. We were very happy to hear this but I think they should include some sign or paper with this information in the room already because we grew upset at the beginning. The room is tight but there was enough storage for our family of four. We mostly at at the buffet and food was varied and good to great flavors, we could always find a table in the first few minutes we came. Other than that we dined twice at savor/taste and food is very good but it is missing a bit of presentation and flavor to be great. We also had lunch once in o sheenans but were disappointed with the mini portions and the service. We actually left before he could bring us all our orders or ask for dessert with how slow service is despite not being booked. The only specialty restaurant was Moderno and definitely recommend the quality of the meat os fantastic. The entertainment crew always had something to do its a shame the don't always have enough space or material for everyone interested to participate. The atrium simply does not have enough seating and the need to bring more paper for everyone to play. We had a great time in family dictionary for example but the only had paper for 7 teams it doesn’t make sense.This ship also has so many activities such as the arcade, bowling, mini golf the rope course and we enjoyed a bit of all it had to offer. Service overall is very good besides O Shennans we had no complaints. It may not be as personal than other cruises but everyone is kind and gets the job done. Though the cruise supposedly had 4600 guest (that not the capacity they advertise) we never felt it was so full we couldn't enjoy you just have to organize yourself to be at the activities before the begin and the shore excursions where fun. Btw the Cirque show is amazing you shouldnt miss it! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had wanted to do a different cruise than our normal Italy/Spain vacation and thought this sounded like a perfect fit. We flew in from a 3 day stop in Iceland and landed in Copenhagen late the night before we boarded. I don't ... Read More
We had wanted to do a different cruise than our normal Italy/Spain vacation and thought this sounded like a perfect fit. We flew in from a 3 day stop in Iceland and landed in Copenhagen late the night before we boarded. I don't like arriving the same day as embarking. The boarding process was painless. The ship has been recently renovated and was lovely. The only complaint I had about the room is having the bed dead center in the room, allowing very little area to walk around the bed. It seemed to be a waste of space to have the bed blocking the seating area. There was plenty of storage room and the bathroom was spacious; even had a tub. The food was the high point on this cruise. Normally I am sick of the buffets by day 3 of cruising but that was not the case on this trip. The food was always fresh and there was a large assortment. We also ate at of 4 of the restaurants; they were awesome! The entertainment was good; not great but there was plenty to do in the evenings. I feel the gym could have had more equipment. There were quite a few times where there were no open machines when I tried to work out and I tried several different times of the day. The shore excursions were my biggest complaint on this trip. The Berlin tour was good. I wanted more information on WW I and WW II, not just the Berlin Wall. One of the members of our group went on the tour of the concentration camp and seemed to enjoy that one better. Tallinn was amazing and we did that on our own. A little research and we were good to go. We were told we would have two days in St. Petersburg but realistically it is 24 hours. Upon docking, we did the Evening at the Hermitage which was nice but the museum was actually closed when we took the tour. A lot of the lighting was turned off and none of the shops were open. However, it is only open for cruise tours and when you see the line during the day, you are grateful to have the experience you had. I had booked the Catherine's Palace and the St. Petersburg church tour before we left the US and was told it would be fine; two tours in one day. However personnel on the ship told me I couldn't make it and they would not refund money if we did not get back in time for the second tour. One of the people in our group went on the Catherine's Palace and had plenty of time when he got back before the second tour started. I was disappointed to say the least and the four hour St. Petersburg tour I took instead was very poorly done. It was basically driving around town in a bus looking at buildings. We were leaving port 24 hours after we got there. Not a two day stay. The last two excursions were a total waste of time. We did the hop on/hop off options for Stockholm and Helsinki and didn't have even enough time to make it around the entire route once. We were in town for a very short period of time and the options were very limited. I would have liked to have a more time in port and a later time to leave. We did the Copenhagen to the airport option and that was perfect. We had plenty of time to see the city with a great guide and then we were dropped at the airport. Two of us stayed with the luggage and the rest of us took the metro back into town and went to Tivoli Gardens and spent a few hours there. I would definitely do this tour again but would hope more time could be spent in port in some of the towns and less time between each destination. The distance is not so great we couldn't have more time in port. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise for the remarkable deal we found to cruise Northern Europe. Embarkation was very smooth, we waited about 30 min or so, but we arrived before our check-in time. The ship is very modern and has a real wow factor! This ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the remarkable deal we found to cruise Northern Europe. Embarkation was very smooth, we waited about 30 min or so, but we arrived before our check-in time. The ship is very modern and has a real wow factor! This was out 13th cruise. We’ve done Disney, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival. MSC is definitely different from the “American” lines. Pool decks are much quieter, no music/games/contests like on the other ships. No sail away party. There was a giant screen; however, it never played any movies or shows, only beach scenery. The pools are salt water and we’re not terribly crowded except on sea days when it was nearly impossible to find a lounger even on the deck above. The thermal suite is lovely and a great place to relax. The kids club was good. Our boys enjoyed their time there. They do close at various points throughout the day in seas days, which was a bit of a pain. The food in the buffet was really just ok as was the main dining room. The speciality restaurants have much better food. The status match program is nice. I have a gold card so there were some perks, but not like ones On other lines. We got a bowl of fruit in our cabin and a string back pack. We were offered a free photo but it had to be from a particular party which was at 11 on the last sea day. Overall, any cruise it what you make of it. We chose MSC for the great itinerary. It can feel like you’re being nickeled and dimed, but we were prepared for that from other reviews. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We choose this cruise for the uniqueness of the destination, the Baltic Countries. a great experience on the cruise but couple of things left us angry and wanting 1) Seafood Paella being served was a highlight as we love seafood and ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the uniqueness of the destination, the Baltic Countries. a great experience on the cruise but couple of things left us angry and wanting 1) Seafood Paella being served was a highlight as we love seafood and Paella, we know Halal is not offered but the paella had PORK sausages even though pork was not mentioned on the menu description. With the number of Muslims cruising with NCL, I would think they would at least be clear about that. live cooking omelets in the breakfast saw spatulas being used to turn ham filled and normal eggs, The Indian Dishes , in the garden Cafe had beef and pork dishes along with the vegetarian choices, which sort of says NCL does not care about the sensitivities of this segment of the market. The pullman beds were left out for the duration of the cruise and not closed daily which would have made the day time cabin use pleasant. Value for money, being specific an 1 year old infant being charged full 3rd person cost is not value for money in anyway as there is nothing infant friendly available or provided by the cruise line, Freestyle for adults is definitely a great way to cruise and value for money, but NCL has to look into the Muslim cruising market by making sure pork is properly marked and the utensils not used, at least by the crew handling the food, in an interchangeable manner, may be even take some pointers from other cruise line on how to avoid the same, like Carnival. We had 8 seniors in the group, for who there was no on board activity, that they could enjoy, These avoidable incidents would have enhanced the good experience Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
There were pros and cons as on any vacation, but we came away satisfied. We chose this cruise because of the ports and the price (a similar Princess cruise was much more expensive, even with our “Platinum” status). The rooms were ... Read More
There were pros and cons as on any vacation, but we came away satisfied. We chose this cruise because of the ports and the price (a similar Princess cruise was much more expensive, even with our “Platinum” status). The rooms were quiet (except once late at night when we heard loud voice from next door) and comfortable, most of the food was good, there was plenty to do (I never cracked the book I brought along), and we enjoyed the ports, especially St. Petersburg. We booked a 2-day (plus an evening) tour with Alla in St. Petersburg and just went out on our own for the rest of the ports. Although the ship did not feel as crowded as I expected (except on the last morning), the main down side to such a large ship was that we did not port close to the town centers in Warnemunde, Stockholm, or Helsinki which complicated independent travel. But if you do your research, it is still the way to go in my opinion. You can see what you want; you are not traveling with a large group; and you save a lot of money. Plus I think you get a more authentic experience exploring a city on your own. The Ship: The Getaway recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, so it did look clean and updated as one would expect. As others have pointed out, the atrium area in particular is very small for the size of the ship and seating is very limited (especially given the number of events held there). But if you arrive early, you should at least be able to get a seat on the next level up overlooking the action (like a balcony). On the other hand, way too much space is devoted to the little-used casino. While I realize that gambling is a good money maker for ships, even at its busiest, I never saw even 10% of the slot machines being used (there must have been hundreds of them). At the most, I saw maybe 25% of the tables partially occupied. Usually, it was much less than that. Plus the smell of smoke wafted beyond the boundaries of the casino. Yuck! A chunk of that space should have been used to enlarge the atrium area when the ship was renovated. Although seating in other entertainment venues was also limited given the size of the ship, if you plan ahead, it is not a big problem. Make online reservations as soon as you can for what you can (e.g., the main dining rooms, The Cirque show, Million Dollar Quartet, and Burn the Floor); reserve what you can once on board (e.g., Escape the Big Top and Shanghai Noodle Bar); and arrive early for the first-come, first-serve restaurants and activities. There were no nightly movies on a big outdoor screen like we have had on other cruise line ships, but they did have lots of daytime outdoor activities, including several big water slides, a rock climbing wall, a ropes course, mini golf, a basketball court, ping pong, and a giant chess set. Our adult children took advantage of the first three of these activities, but were a little frustrated by their limited time availability. They have an “adults only” deck area (Spice H2O) which is nice, but it did not have a real pool, just one that looked like a kiddie pool—small and shallow. It did have two hot tubs. It was a bit frustrating that the staff did not enforce the “adults only” rule for the hot tubs in the main deck area. We found the staff to all be pleasant, courteous, and hard-working. Restaurants: Taste/Savor Main Dining Rooms (same menu/food, just on opposite sides of the ship)—we ate here six of the nine nights. We were generally pleased with the selection and food. Yes, they repeat some entrees every night but that means that you always have a choice of beef, pork, chicken, seafood, and two veggie (pasta) entrees, in addition to the seven entrees that are new each night. They also have about 10 appetizer choices (some repeating but we didn’t mind because they were good) and we always found something good for dessert! The portions were relatively small, but we liked that because you could have one (or two) appetizers, an entrée, and dessert without feeling overly stuffed (definitely full though!). Shanghai Noodle Bar—We ate here for one dinner. The appetizers and soup were good; the entrees were just okay. They only had two desserts—fruit cup and “chocolate cake” (it did not have a cake texture)—which were okay. The service was odd in that we got our soups after our entrees. O’Sheehans—My daughter and I had most of our breakfasts here. The menu is not extensive and the same every day, but we liked their omelettes (they had more choices of add-ins than the buffet). Our group of five also had one “snack” meal here—just fish and chips and the wings. I didn’t eat these but the fish and chips were described as “good” and the wings “okay”. Garden Café—this is the buffet. I read very mixed reviews on this prior to our trip. We thought that, in general, the selection was good and most of the food was at least “okay to good.” Nothing was “bad” and some was quite good. Yes, it can be crowded at peak times, but other than the last morning, we could always find a table within a minute or two of looking. The last morning took a few more minutes, but we did eventually find one. The main negative was the limited hours (not 24/7 like we were used to) and only limited snacks were available during non-peak hours. O’Sheehan’s is 24/7. There are lots of bars. We went primarily to Syd Norman’s Pour House—brand new rock ‘n roll venue with the recent renovation and our favorite place to hang at night. The Pour House Band is excellent in terms of musicianship and vocals, especially with the addition of the two women singers (I don’t think they are formally a part of the band because they were never introduced). Our kids also went to Bliss where they met up with similarly-aged adults (mid- to upper-twenties). In particular, they enjoyed the Glow Party. Entertainment—besides the bars, we went to: • Cirque Dreams—they had some acts we’ve never seen before (like one woman using another woman as an acrobatic “swing”). However, the show was short (about 45 minutes); it ended about a half hour before that stated time. Dinner was mixed; the filet and shrimp were good, as was the caprese salad appetizer, but the mini desserts were disappointing—a flan that had little flavor, with a fruit sauce that was good; a red velvet cupcake that was just okay (the cream cheese frosting was the best part); and a fudgy-type brownie? It looked good, but was thick and not very flavorful. • Burn the Floor—good singing and dancing (samba, rumba, and salsa). Lots of energy and entertaining! • Million Dollar Quartet—this show’s main characters were Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins at the start of their careers. The voices and musicianship were very good. • Escape the Big Top—you don’t escape the room, but do have to solve a mystery with other people (groups of 8) using various clues. Our kids and I had fun and our group won! Don’t do it for the prizes though—just a thin drink coozie and deck of cards. • Dueling Pianos and Howl at the Moon got many good reviews, but we missed these shows. Fitness Room—my husband reported that they had a decent array of machines and he was able to get on one without much of a problem. He said that you may have to wait for ellipticals and treadmills, but something was always available in the weight room. Another plus—the hours were longer than on other ships. A negative—you have to pay to use the sauna and steam room (same on the other ships, though). Ports: Copenhagen: We arrived a day early to spend some time here. I ordered the 24-hour Copenhagen Card on line before we left (you get a voucher). If you plan to visit at least three attractions in 24 hours, the card is worth it, since it covers all of the major attractions and transportation. You take the voucher to the airport information desk (when you leave the baggage area and go down the escalator, heading toward the exits/trains, the information desk is on the right). Once you get the card, just follow the signs to Track 2 to get into the city. Our first attraction was the Lousiana Museum of Modern Art. Definitely worth the 40-minute train ride). So many interesting and beautiful things to see and experience, especially the exhibits by Pipilotti Rist. From the city center, take the train toward Helsinger, getting off at the Humblebaek stop. Once you exit the train, signs will direct you to the museum. We ate at the café on the corner where you turn (Lind’s Kaffebar). They have sandwiches, wraps, paninis, and omelettes. Good food; reasonable prices. When we returned to the city center, we checked into our hotel (more on that later), then we went to Rosenborg Castle. You can see rooms on five floors, including two basement levels (one for the treasury and the other for wine and weapons). There are many beautiful and unique items, but we were particularly impressed with the 3-D ceiling decorations and intricate ivory carvings. After a nap (flew overnight, so not much sleep), and dinner at L’Appetito (close to our hotel and the central train station; the pizza was good; they gave us free bread; and the service was quick and courteous), we went to Tivoli Gardens. We got there around 9 pm (twilight was at 9:30 and they were open until 11). They have beautiful gardens and lights, and free entertainment. Mamma Mia 2 was playing on a giant screen when we arrived, but they have a variety of other shows that pop up at various times (e.g., pantomime theater, ballet, acrobats, puppets, etc). You do have to pay extra for the rides (which our adult children did for the roller coaster), but my husband and I enjoyed ourselves without spending any extra money. We booked 3 double rooms (for 5 adults) with private bathrooms at Steel House. The rooms were small, just enough space for the bed and a small area in front of it (with a space to stash luggage in the base of the bed). But the bathroom was a decent size; the room was clean, quiet, and modern; the bed was comfortable; the price was significantly cheaper than other similarly-rated hotels; and it is close to the central train station, Tivoli Gardens, and the start of The Stroget, a pedestrian street with lots of shops. They also have lockers in the basement where, for a small fee, you can store your luggage if you arrive before check-in time. A tour guide stops by at 9:20 and 10:20 am to lead anyone interested in a free 2 1/2 hour walking tour to the meeting area in town (we did not do this). One minor annoyance was that the light in the bathroom was on a timer (you can set it for up to 5 minutes) and it will go off if no motion is detected (including when you are in the shower, but opening the shower door turns it on). Overall, I highly recommend Steel House and would definitely stay here again if I make it back to Copenhagen! Warnemunde/Rostock: Our berth was LP31 in Rostock. We took public transportation to get into town. To get to the Seehafen Fahre bus stop, go to the main road and turn right. When the road curves, just keep going straight to the large white building and you’ll see several bus stops—“A” right in front of the building, and “B” and “C” together off to the left. You can take bus 19 and 49 from B/C to the Dierkower Kreuz stop, then from there take tram 1 or 4 to Rostock Neuer Markt (New Market Square). We just walked through the market right there and then around town. The only building we went into was St. Mary’s Church, mainly to see the astronomical clock built in 1472, but it also has a beautiful stained-glass window, organ, and pulpit. We stopped in the Tourist Information Office to ask for a recommendation for a German restaurant for lunch. The gentleman gave me two names; one was a bit of a walk and one was just a couple of blocks away which is the one we chose. Hopfenkeller was a disappointment. The food was okay, but the prices were relatively high and service was terrible. We waited more than 20 minutes for the check even after catching the server’s eye once and then going right up to her to ask for it. Then we went to Warnemunde. From Neuer Markt, take tram 5 or 6 to the last stop (it’s the second one in Warnemunde). This is a beachside resort with lots of little shops (mostly clothing stores on the main drag [Alter Strom] with some souvenir shops on the road one block inland [Alexandrinenstrasse]). There is a lighthouse you can climb and you can just spend time on the beach. To get back to the ship, take the S-train toward Rostock, getting off at the Lutten-Klein stop. Then take bus 45 or 49 back to Seehafen Fahre. Helsinki: From our port (West Harbor/Hernesaari), we took bus 14 into town (the stop is close to the ship; just walk straight ahead on the road leading out of the port). Armed with a map of the tram routes and Rick Steve’s book, we were able to get around pretty easily. Our first stop was the Hietalahti Market (a flea market). They had a variety of goods—clothing, houseware items (lots of plates, glasses, tea pots), kids games/toys, collectibles, jewelry, books—like you would find in the U.S., but in mostly Finnish styles (duh). They also had stuff from Asian and other European countries. Next, we stopped at Kamppi Chapel (a serene oasis in the middle of a bustling city and cool architecture) on the way to the Church of the Rock (again interesting architecture, blasted out of solid granite). There are also a couple of small but good souvenir shops nearby. Then we headed to Senate Square, Market Square (bought several items here), and Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral (beautiful inside and out). We had lunch at a little pizza place on a corner across the street from Market Square (Vaelsa)—good pizza, good prices, fast service! St. Peterburg: We booked the 2-Day Must See tour plus the night Faberge Museum tour with Alla Tours. They were very responsive to questions prior to the trip. Our guide, Paulina, was great—very knowledgeable, easy to understand (actually fun to listen to with an accent that sounded like a mix of Russian, French [which she also speaks], and British English), well-organized, charming, and adorable to boot! The restaurants we were taken to for lunch were both good—tasty food and in pretty rooms. We were dropped off at a more casual restaurant to get a snack on our own between the day and night tours on the first day; they had a wide variety of options, the food was very good, and the prices were very reasonable. All of the sights we were taken to were worthwhile; I would choose the same tours again. My personal favorites were the Hermitage and the Church on the Spilled Blood. Tallinn: This was the easiest port to do on our own—you just walk off and into town. First, we did the Tallinn Free Tour (they work for tips). Our guide, Helen, did a great job, despite the unusually high heat and humidity, having a double-sized group (the other guide was ill), and sometimes having to speak over the sound of church bells (which went off for a prolonged time). She provided just the right amount of information—enough details to get a general understanding of Estonia’s history, doled out in relatively small doses over a number of stops throughout the town, without being overwhelming and with a good amount of humor throw in! Very enjoyable!! After the tour, we just wandered around town and did some shopping. We ate lunch at Wok to Walk, which had made to order stir-fries—good food, reasonable prices, and quick service! Stockholm: From the port (Nyashamn), you can get a shuttle bus (it picks you up right outside of the Visitor Center at the pier (where you can buy tickets for both the shuttle and train). You can also walk to the train station, but we thought the shuttle was worth it (less than $4.50). We took the train to Stockholm City (the central station), then tram 7 to Skansen (this is also the tram for the Vasa Museum and the ABBA Museum). Skansen is an open-air museum representing five centuries of Swedish history with over 150 dwellings, people in period dress, and a zoo. It sounded good to us, but we were underwhelmed and decided that it was not a good use of our limited port time (we had seen the Vasa Musuem on a previous cruise and were not interested in the ABBA museum). Maybe it would be worthwhile if you have younger children, but many of the workshops/buildings in “Old Town” were closed and we found only two employees giving spontaneous information about their crafts/history of the buildings; the others remained silent. The zoo was very small and several of the animals were hard or impossible to even spot. Lots of walking is involved, up and down hills. We ate lunch in their sit down restaurant (cafeteria); the food was okay, but a little pricey. From here we went back to the central train station, then took the metro/tunnelbana one stop to Gamla Stan (Old Town). You can take the red or green line, just watch what direction it’s going (I printed out the Rail Network Map ahead of time). Again, we just wandered around town. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The entertainment on the ship was amazing! We went to see Burn the Floor, Cirque Dreams and Steam, the Magic Show and the Million Dollar Quartet. They were all fantastic and you could tell that the performers were very experienced. The ... Read More
The entertainment on the ship was amazing! We went to see Burn the Floor, Cirque Dreams and Steam, the Magic Show and the Million Dollar Quartet. They were all fantastic and you could tell that the performers were very experienced. The dining was okay. Garden Cafe had lots of options when it came to different cuisines. The teppanyaki restaurant and La Cuchina were nice but it was really annoying because kids have to eat from the kids' menu in the specialty restaurants. The service was so-so. It took a long time for the staff to get the drinks. The pools and hot tubs were very nice. I liked that the pools were not saltwater like many other cruises I have been on. The ports were amazing. The only problem that I had was that it was a bit chilly so you need to make sure to bring jackets. I have a special recommendation for a man named Kashif from Zimbabwe. He was a photographer on our cruise and he was very kind and he is one of the best staff members on our cruise. He definitely deserves a raise!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This is our second time with Princess Cruise and we are not regretted at all. The food is excellent and service is every caring. The only thing we don't like is this ship just has too many passengers. The Horizon Court for dining is ... Read More
This is our second time with Princess Cruise and we are not regretted at all. The food is excellent and service is every caring. The only thing we don't like is this ship just has too many passengers. The Horizon Court for dining is terribly crowded, stretched with its capacity. We would prefer a smaller ship for next cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation by Princess was easy & smooth. But the traffic from Copenhagen city to Ocean Terminal on embarkation day was terrible. It is one-lane each way road into the terminal area. We were waiting outside our hotel in city for taxi for almost one hour because most of taxi were stuck in the terminal area due to a car broken down on road. The Danish government should improve this as they earns so much money from cruises. Food and drink are excellent. The only hiccup was the first night we couldn't find our table although we had time-fixed dinning with pre-assigned table. It was very confused. On-board activities and fitness centre were average. We did not spend much time on board as the cruise had many ports to call and we spent most of time offshore. Service and staff in Regal Princess are excellent. Room stewards Jefferson was very helpful and he cleaned our room twice per day, making us feeling extremely comfortable during the whole cruise. Dinning room waiters were friendly and helpful although they were just too busy. Also Princess was very caring on the day to Berlin. After a long day of train/bus trip to Berlin, exhausted passengers back to ship after 8:30pm could still enjoy plenty of hot food served in Horizon Court. Cabin is clean. We had mini-suite on deck 11. It was clean, good size and comfortable to fit three persons. The odd thing is that the curtain between main bed and sofa bed does not block the sound at all. The sound from two TVs or people talking in the room would be heard. This makes the curtain not much useful. Entertainment is overall OK, though not outstanding. The Russian Folk Dancing was great. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
After reading some of the reviews and complaints about NCL in general and their megaships I was a bit hesitant to book this cruise. It was our first time with NCL. having previously sailed with Disney and Celebrity. I am happy to say my ... Read More
After reading some of the reviews and complaints about NCL in general and their megaships I was a bit hesitant to book this cruise. It was our first time with NCL. having previously sailed with Disney and Celebrity. I am happy to say my fears were unfounded. Embarkation in Copenhagen went smoothly. We started out with lunch at Taste, which was great, and then headed back to our cabin - a 5 person oceanview on deck 5. It was clean, fresh and enough storage space. Dininig - We tried Cagneys, Teppaniyaki. La Cucina and the brazilian steakhouse - we absolutely loved the food there, Cagneys was our least favorite but it was good too. Other days we ate in the MDR's, we were happy with the food there too. The only place I wouldn't recommend eating was the buffet simply because it was so overcrowded and more about quantity than quality, but the fresh pasta station and other things like that made it tolerable. As for entertainment we didn't see any shows, except one violinist which was ok. We did partake in some of the family origami stuff but mostly our cruise was about relaxing, which we really did - as much as is possible with 3 kids under the age of 6. We did use the kids club on a few occacions, but I wasn't really impressed. The staff didn't seem to interact with our children much, but on the other hand I know some kids loved it there so I guess it depends a lot on the indidual child in question whether they will enjoy it. It was a good thing that they had the guppies playroom on deck 16, and then our oldest loved doing the mini golf, the bowling, the climbing wall and so on. The arcade was simply too loud, but we did enjoy the pool and splash area on several days even though the weather was freezing. I found the ship to be in excellent condition, and the service was fine. Apart from the kids club as mentioned above, I didn't find fault with a single crew member. We live in northern Europe, so we didn't go on this cruise for the ports. Instead we spent most of those days on the ship, which was much more enjoyable when there was less people on it. Having said that, apart from the buffet I didn't feel that the ship was overcrowded and waiting for elevators wasn't a problem. Favorite area on the ship was the waterfront, which was simply lovely. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Chose this cruise due to its unique ports of call and its timing with school holidays . We are aa family of 5 and booked two cabins one balcony and one internal cabin opposite each other. Ship appeared modern and well maintained, as its a ... Read More
Chose this cruise due to its unique ports of call and its timing with school holidays . We are aa family of 5 and booked two cabins one balcony and one internal cabin opposite each other. Ship appeared modern and well maintained, as its a smaller boat only additional activities offered are put put golf and rock climbing . Boarding was poor , we purchased the Key program which was meant to give preferred boarding but as we were unable to pre check in online (even after trying for weeks) we were given absolutely no preference at check in. In whole found The Key program disappointing with little preferential treatment. The cabins were extremely comfortable and gave the best sleep Ive had in long time- only tip is bring some tape to help with the block out curtains as the nights are very short. Plenty of storage space . Reflections restaurant service was stressed at busy times , Food quality was poor e.g. crab cakes using artificial crab sticks, prawn cocktail with no cocktail sauce. tried it twice then never ate there again. Preferred paying the extra to eat at the premium restaurants : Giovanni's and Chops Grille were excellent from both a food quality and service perspective although they could perhaps offer daily specials to add variety to the menu. The buffet restaurant was pretty good for breakfast and the occasional lunch if your still hungry. Gym was well fitted out but tended to be busy and not quite big enough . Even though the weather was cold the pool was warmed - probably about 22 deg C so cool but comfortable enough for a quick dip. Purchased the deluxe beverage package for myself which was well worth it especially with fresh juices at breakfast , coffee , bottled waters and open bar with some great cocktails- only point is the wines within the package weren't great and ended up paying extra for better quality wines . The kids didn't get any beverage package and it was fine. Bar options were good and never too crowded except maybe for Centrum. Kids club was great and kids spent most of the time there. We had a 2 yr old and left him a lot at the nursery where he was well looked after and reasonably priced. Entertainment on the boat was pretty average - went to a couple of shows and left early . Spent a few nights playing $5 blackjack in the casino and was a great way to meet fellow travelers. Staff extremely friendly and attentive throughout - except as noted during busy times in Reflections. Port of calls- Geiranger was amazing and if your fit enough get an ebike for assisted ride to enjoy the views . Tromso the most disappointing stop as we booked the huskies tour and on a 3 hr tour kids only got less than 20min with the huskies. Hannisverg just to walk around the town was nice, also good location to get an bike and head out for a ride for some great scenery and try and head over the mountain to the Cape ...I only made it halfway. Alesund, is a nice city just to walk around and explore. Flam is a really pretty town to walk around and the tour on Flam railway is the only tour of the trip we would recommend.Stavanger was pretty town but 3 cruise ships arrived at same time - did the Leyford cruise which was pretty boring with a lame lunch stop for waffles - would not recommend it - better to try a trip to Pulpit Rock. In all, apart from Flam railway the organized tours were disappointing. One of the good benefits of The Key program was the a la carte breakfast on the departure which was a relaxed way to finish the cruise. It was our first cruise and definitely enjoyed the experience and would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Tons of fun on the NCL Getaway June 7th, 2019 cruise. The ship just got off from a 1-month dry dock and you could tell all the wall furnishings, artwork, carpet, paint, and other details were attended too. Embarkation: Fast and ... Read More
Tons of fun on the NCL Getaway June 7th, 2019 cruise. The ship just got off from a 1-month dry dock and you could tell all the wall furnishings, artwork, carpet, paint, and other details were attended too. Embarkation: Fast and painless Took about 35 min or so. Food: Recommend eating at Savor/Taste whenever you have the chance. These two dining rooms are 2 of the 3 main dining halls apart from the buffet. They have their own kitchen and you can taste the difference. First night line was long-about 45-minute wait but only 15-20 each night thereafter. They did allow reservations on the last night and thank goodness we did that. People were waiting for an hour or so I hear. Tropicana allows reservations but they go really fast. Book for your entire cruise if you don't want to wait. The food and service were lacking compared to Savor/Taste. Tropicana has nightly entertainment which can be fun. Buffett was a buffet, not horrible or great. Crazy, crazy busy ALL the time. We sat outside a few times-a little chilly but a nice break from the crowds. Cabin: BEST CABIN out of my 7 cruises. Had 2 adults, 2 kids. Plenty of storage (2 closets and multiple drawers. Bunk bed plus lower couch bed which kids enjoyed. Bring a window curtain or shower curtain with hooks and you can partition off the room at night time. Entertainment: Free Burn the floor was meh. Great dancers-but there was no storyline or anything to keep you entertained. It was just dancing for 45 minutes. Wish we would have seen Million Dollar Quartet- one of the guys showed up at the Dueling Pianos and he was AMAZING. Dueling Pianos was good fun. Mr. and Mrs. Smith was great. The Comedian was dumb...but with enough alcohol I was laughing. I enjoyed Escape the Big Top-its like Escape the Room. Did not wish to pay for any shows. Water Slides-Kids loved it. Slides are not heated so there were really cold when we went. Pools were a little warmer and many ppl enjoyed. Ropes Course is great with a zip line to at the end. Not to be missed. Mini Golf and rock climbing were great! Osheehans games are fun! Mini bowling ($6/person/game) Pretty expensive and not included in the all-inclusive game package. Air hockey, Pool, Basketball and some others. You will find more in the arcade room too. If you have kids, the all-inclusive game package is worth it. Each game is crazy expensive- 1.50 and up I believe. Kids Camp/Splash Academy: $6/meal which I think is crazy. There is a show performed by the kid's last sea day and if your child does not want to participate, they can't go during that 3 hour block of time. SPA: Booked a couples massage. Was good-not the best. Ended with a hard sales pitch. No Sauna, hot tub, amenities or a shower after... There is a 20% off coupon first sea day-art auction. If you want to use SPA, go get that coupon. Otherwise, the daily deals are ok, but spots filled up fast. Couldn't get into Thalassotherapy Pool-they only sell a limited amount of passes and had zero Sea days available. Ports: Berlin: Best of Berlin & Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp by Viator. Highly Recommend. (ULK tours) Probably one of the best tours I've been on. I was debating the 3hour bus ride both ways...but it was worth it. The camp really made the tour. This was one of the longest days we had, but since there isn't much to see during the bus ride- you have a built-in nap. :) St. Petersburg: Beautiful and surprising! Tour from TJ Travel: 2 day St. Petersburg City Tour. We got SUPER lucky and had Olga who was smart, funny and customized our tour due to the traffic. We overheard many saying they did not like St. Petersburg because of the lines and the number of people. There were quite a few ships in during our stay and line to Hermitage was NUTS. We ended up going first thing on the 2nd day and waited only 30 minutes. The otherwise-the line wrapped around the building. Probably a 2-3 hour wait. Petergof was AMAZING and equally surprising was the Subway Station! Make sure your guide allows you a few minutes at each stop to just look around. It's quite something. Side note: Our tour started at 8:45am and we got outside probably around 9am. You could see most tour operators were waiting outside and not leaving people who had reservations. NCL sends a notice the night prior saying NCL tours only will get off first, and then after 8:45, other tours. You get assigned a group number ( I think there are 12 groups total). The passport line after getting off the ship added to the time it took to get to the tour. (The 2nd day went faster since they entered your information already) Plan accordingly. Tallinn: Walked from cruise port to Old Town-easy walk. About 15-20 minutes. No tour needed. Beautiful place just to stroll around and grab some espresso. We all enjoyed it! Helsinki: Hop On Hop Off by Stromma with Canal Tour. Lots of mini islands which was nice to see. We did not hop off and tour any places as it was freezing for us. The bus was right outside by port. Stockholm: BEAUTIFUL and I wish I had more time there. It would take a few days to explore. Hop on Hop Off by Stromma...EXCEPT this was a horrible experience. They were allowing people getting off the ship to buy at the port-which is fine, if they had enough buses and if it was organized. Took an hour or more just to get on the bus and then an hour or so to drive into town. Then they make you get off by the ABBA museum to catch another bus or get on the canal tour. Another 45 min to get on the canal tour. So we wasted a ton of time with this bus company. Not to mention AC did not work on any of the buses and it was deathly hot. There weren't enough buses to take everyone back to the ship either...so the company had to call in another bus everyone...This took another 1.5 off of our day at port. Book a real tour because this city is not to be missed. It probably would have been one of my favorites. Copenhagen: We spent 3 days after the cruise. Originally had Hotel Nebo booked-which we stayed at before the cruise. Do not recommend at all...ended up at Hotel Tivoli which was great! Spent the entire day at Tivoli (11 hours) and that wasn't enough. My parents (in their 70's) had fun and went on rides. The gardens are beautiful and the food was good. Copenhagen Zoo on the next day. One of the best Zoo's I've been to! Watched a baby polar bear play and jump in the water while the dad ate. Saw a baby kangaroo come out from the mother's pouch and watched others jump around the fields. The panda was eating its bamboo and the monkeys were playing. The 3rd day was just walking around enjoying the city, did a canal tour (highly recommend) and enjoyed local food. Great tour overall. I would say there will be mixed reviews-but it is what you make of it. It's your vacation and some things won't go according to plan or what you hoped for. We just roll with it. It all works out and makes for some great memories in the end. Was the ship too crowded? Yeah. I would opt to go on a smaller cruise next time. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely-one of the better ones. Would I do NCL again? Yes Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Took sister and husband with us. As beginners, they were very satisfied with the overall experience. We are long-time Princess cruisers, and were quite happy overall. In particular, the entertainment was better than usual for this line, ... Read More
Took sister and husband with us. As beginners, they were very satisfied with the overall experience. We are long-time Princess cruisers, and were quite happy overall. In particular, the entertainment was better than usual for this line, with an excellent cast and orchestra. Hearing Daniel Oliver sing at the piano was great, as we heard him some years ago on a different ship. Also appreciated was the absence of blaring music on the open deck. Dining room food was inferior to the buffet. After a bit of learning, I must say that the Medallion system is an improvement over the old card system. The ethnic mix was unusual for us, with 1100 Americans, 1200 Asian, and 1000 others, with clear differences in cultural behaviours. We were pleased to attend a private lunch with the captain and senior officers for the 40 passengers with the most Princess cruise days. Unfortunately, the weather was mostly overcast and drizzly. Our inside cabin seemed to have more space (especially storage) than the usual Princess. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We sailed the Nordic fjords from Kiel with our adult children. The cabins are quite OK, not a lot of space for storage, bit dark colors. Still cleaning twice a day, not really necessary for us. Very large ship, very crowded, ... Read More
We sailed the Nordic fjords from Kiel with our adult children. The cabins are quite OK, not a lot of space for storage, bit dark colors. Still cleaning twice a day, not really necessary for us. Very large ship, very crowded, specially because we had bad weather and everybody was searching inside convenient seating. There are many lifts, maneuvering through the ship is easy and quick. Going ashore quick every time, how ever long waiting times at the security check getting back on board. Food overall pretty good. The easy drinking package gives you cheap drinks of low quality for 30 euros/ day, overpriced!! Staff not more than average, some very rude (you have whole day, one European in a bar told us). Very disappointing, our cabin was again (!!) changed by MSC without informing us. We booked 3 cabins together, they ended up scattered over the ship. We won't book MSC again, they just change your cabin as they like to do.... Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The cruise itinerary is very good. Got an opportunity to visit many countries. One set back is this cruise does not provide no charge sauna and steam room :( Staff is very friendly except the one from English Pub (not so good experience ... Read More
The cruise itinerary is very good. Got an opportunity to visit many countries. One set back is this cruise does not provide no charge sauna and steam room :( Staff is very friendly except the one from English Pub (not so good experience with the staff there). The excursion in St Petersburg,, Russia is excellent; very nice tour guides. Wish we could have another sea day to relax after Oslo instead of a sea day earlier. About the entertainment, the shows is so so compared to other cruise. The stand up comedian is so lame... not much to laugh off and enjoyment. Embarkation and Disembarkation are very easy, fast and nice service staff. Wish I can access steam room at no charge as the same as many other cruises that I have taken just like the last one on Ruby Princess. Overall, the cruise is just as good as I expected it to be. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We were on several cruises before and we try to cruise with Norwegian Cruislines. We had a nice Cabin with a balcony on the 11th floor. Our Room attendant was very good and it looks like he always knew the right time to service the ... Read More
We were on several cruises before and we try to cruise with Norwegian Cruislines. We had a nice Cabin with a balcony on the 11th floor. Our Room attendant was very good and it looks like he always knew the right time to service the cabin. We booked in advance our dinners and shows so we did not have to stand in line to get our table... The Garden Cafe - All-Day- Buffet looks like a war zone ... hard to find a table for our party and it feels like going to the market with many people doing the same thing... We did all we could to avoid going there... We had our Breakfasts at the Savor Restaurant and when we did not have the special dining dinners we used the 3 restaurants Taste, Savor and the Manhattan room. We were happy to have our a-la-carte breakfast and the dinners. We enjoyed and loved Cagney's Steak House 3 times and twice La Cuccina Italian restaurant. The entertainment was fine but the Theater and other venues were not as we had on the other ships... Overall it was OK. We were disappointed being so close to Stockholm, Sweden but did not make it... We had plans and we arranged a nice tour with our friends living in Stockholm which left us disappointed. Instead we had 2 Sea Days... We've did cruise with the Norwegian Spirit and were very happy... We hope to be back on the NCL Spirit next year. On behalf of my family & friends, I wish to thank everyone on the Norwegian Breakaway team for their attention and good service... Thank you for having us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Wanted to do a Baltic cruise and overall had a very good experience on the Breakaway, were in a Mini-Suite with large balcony, cabin was great, balcony (or the behavior of other passengers was a disappointment, see cabin comments), kids ... Read More
Wanted to do a Baltic cruise and overall had a very good experience on the Breakaway, were in a Mini-Suite with large balcony, cabin was great, balcony (or the behavior of other passengers was a disappointment, see cabin comments), kids also thoroughly enjoyed their activities and kids staff on the cruise. Food - Prepaid for 3 Specialty Meals, had these at Brazilian, Teppanyaki and Cirque Dreams; Brazilian probably a slightly underwhelming experience, if we were to do the same package again would probably try Cagney's instead, meat itself was good, however pace seemed to vary with no servers then every server then none again, and for the $30pp I think it was I'd say the food wasn't that much better than other options. Teppanyaki was a fun night with the kids, it's all about the show and our server was pretty entertaining, plenty of food and overall an Excellent meal. Cirque Dreams again a great night out, the show was best on the cruise, not sure why it doesn't fill up? Food was good but the entertainment was outstanding, definitely wouldn't hesitate to go again if we were on another cruise with Cirque. Dining Rooms, this was our first Freestyle experience on a cruise, have to say we missed getting to know the restaurant staff and the benefits you get when they understand your families habits/choices etc. I guess we could have gone to same table same restaurant each night to get some of this feel, however with first trying Manhattan, which we found too noisy, one night off the ship and 3 specialty meals half the cruise is gone already before you find a preferred dining spot, so didn't get this typical cruise interaction which we missed. The other disappointment with dining rooms was the food portions which were pretty small, we typically left and went past the buffet to grab something else to snack on, having said that on one night I did ask for a second entree and was given it without question. French restaurant - One night the kids wanted to go with friends/counselors for dinner so we tried to go to the French restaurant for a special meal, downside was without reservation they only had outside seating, while this would have been fine the smoke smell from casino up one floor wasn't conducive to us enjoying that so somewhat off-putting for meals. Buffet - Good selection however gets a bit crowded on mornings in port, so timing is critical otherwise you can find yourself walking around for 10 mins trying to find a table. Bars - Great service at all bars from staff, wait at the Martini bar was usually long, maybe because of complexity of drinks however also always seemed to be short on staff. Ice bar a novelty but not really a $100 odd worth for two adults and two kids... Ship overall was great, plenty of activities, elevators get a bit crowded at times but that's to be expected, we arrived before 12 for embarkation and were onboard in less than an hour, no delays on debarkation either. Ports were great, we self toured Warnemunde (didn't like the thought of the 6+ hours travel involved with Berlin), Tallin taxis were easy to get around, toured with SPG in St Petersburg who were great, taxi into Helsinki for $20 and caught train into Stockholm (follow the blue line from ship), and thoroughly enjoyed all the ports. As we'd read Immigration/debarkation for tours etc. is somewhat of a nightmare in Russia, so allow an 1-1/2+ hours for that process on the first day, however that was a minor inconvenience as we were prepared. Entertainment - Went to a few shows, enjoyed Cirque probably the most, especially with the kids. Burn the floor was well Choreographed and enjoyable, left the magic show after an hour, the talking in several languages, whilst I admire the talent, we felt distracted from and seemed to be padding for the show, I think after an hour we'd only seen 3 tricks! And we'd rate Rock of Ages as OK. Overall enjoyed the ship and activities, ports were great, kids were well catered for, felt Freestyle dining had it's positives and negatives, ship and cabins well appointed and staff overall great, will cruise with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I took my immediate family of 9 with me on a special family cruise to the Baltic. We indulged in the Haven for the first time and I must say, this is the only way to cruise. Expensive yes, but if you really want to be pampered this is ... Read More
I took my immediate family of 9 with me on a special family cruise to the Baltic. We indulged in the Haven for the first time and I must say, this is the only way to cruise. Expensive yes, but if you really want to be pampered this is the way to cruise on Norwegian. My wife and I took the Breakaway on the same itinerary two months prior with another couple. In that situation we stayed in the non-Haven mini-suites and got a very typical experience with Norwegian. Generally good ship, good ports, good entertainment, average dining, etc. In round two we went Haven and my wife and I are asking ourselves why we did not do this sooner. We booked 2 - two bedroom suites for 4 couples (our adult children and spouses) and and a two year old (our grandson) and the amount of room was just right (albeit the second bedroom a bit tight). The private dining room, bar, pool, sauna, hot tubs etc. made the whole trip civilized by comparison to the general experience had just two months prior. The service from butler to concierge, housekeeping, bar tenders, waiters, etc. are the best the ship has to offer and they did not miss a beat in making the experience memorable. On this cruise we laid back a bit on the excursions, since we went full bore on the June cruise. Instead of going to Berlin on a long 2 1/2 hour train ride each way we decided to go to Wismer (a small town about 1 hour from the port). We toured the area leaving the ship later and returning earlier, yet had a very nice time. In Helsinki we enjoyed the indoor ice park. Gave my grandson his first ride on a real dog sled and climbed around igloos. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Very nice ship with great food and variety of specialty restaurants. Excellent entertainment. Cabin was very nice (mini suite). Booked again on it for a Jan 19 cruise in cabin C 427. The ship is also easy to get around without ... Read More
Very nice ship with great food and variety of specialty restaurants. Excellent entertainment. Cabin was very nice (mini suite). Booked again on it for a Jan 19 cruise in cabin C 427. The ship is also easy to get around without getting lost. The pizza was the best I've had on any ship, and I could actually get popcorn for watching the movie under the stars. Overall Princess is definitely out favorite cruise line. Our next cruise in Jan, 2020 will be our fifth on Princess and I'm sure there will be many more to come. Embarkation is by far the best with the Regal Princess that we have ever had on the 25 cruises we've been on. It makes so much sense to get the the terminal and get right on the ship with out having to wait for ever in the terminal and then the long lines etc. I wish all ships / cruise lines would do this. I truly believe it makes it better for the passengers as well as the crew Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We boarded the cruise ship in Copenhagen and overall it was a great cruise. As always Princess's embarkation and disembarkation was quick and seamless. All events like muster and the captains welcome party was very well coordinated. ... Read More
We boarded the cruise ship in Copenhagen and overall it was a great cruise. As always Princess's embarkation and disembarkation was quick and seamless. All events like muster and the captains welcome party was very well coordinated. However due to the number of people onboard, it can get very crowded and uncomfortable in the Promenade deck especially with the stalls set up its really feels like a flea market! I have concerns over cross contamination on the ship. The satinisers at the Horizon is at the entrance and unmanned and many cruisers just walk in without sanitising their hands. Also i have grave issue of cruisers refilling their water bottles at the water dispensers inspite there being a sign there discouraging cruisers from doing so. No one seems to care. Some bottles are reused mineral water bottles and the spout are inserted to the mouthpiece and its really gross. If the water in the cabins are drinkable then Princess should do away with allowing cruisers to refill their water bottles. Another issue we faced was the hard sell by the dining staff. Everday we are pressurised to dine at the specialty restaurants or purchase lemoncello. Its unpleasant. Overall we had a good cruise and i will cruise with Princess again but maybe with a smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our 3rd NCL cruise having previously cruised on the Jade and Spirit. We were apprehensive going on a larger ship but boy we were not disappointed. The size caters for all the passengers and there is plenty of space to find your ... Read More
This was our 3rd NCL cruise having previously cruised on the Jade and Spirit. We were apprehensive going on a larger ship but boy we were not disappointed. The size caters for all the passengers and there is plenty of space to find your own peace and quiet if required. We travelled with a 15 year old who stated it was the best ship experience he had ever had. Getting to the port from Copenhagen by train was hard work. Once out of the train station we waited an hour for a bus that did not arrive, we then started walking towards the port and then stopped at another bus stop. If you are going to get off at Ostoport and it is peak season I suggest you take a taxi (approx 10 minutes)and save yourself all the aggravation. Note the buses only take cash, no cards. Embarkation was fast and easy as was the process at all the ports. The ship layout is very good. As expected the pool area;s get very busy. We used the H2Ospice bar at the back of the ship which although is adult only there was always plenty of deck space and seats. The bar managed by John is very good and was the place we hung out watching the sun set. Our teenager loved the slides and the genral facilities The entertainment is very good although we chose not to see a show, the bars and singers were 1st class, especially the male vocalist in the whiskey bare. We tried all 3 complimentary restaurants and they were by far the best we have exdperienced on NCL cruises. Can get busy but we never waitied longer than a couple of minutes for a table. We paid extra for Cagneys, Blue Ocean and the Italian. We had 2 nights in Cagneys and the first experience was very good but the 2nd visit was very disappointing. Poor service ruined the evening. We were offered to attend another restaurant so we chose the italian which was fantasic. A special thank you to Ruben and his team for an excellent meal and service. The ports were very good, we enjoyed Warnenunde and spenttime on the beech and shopping as well as taking the teenager on a fast speed boat. Estonia was very busy as there was 4 cruise ships in at the same time. My advice would be to stay on the ship and get off at diner time once all the grounds have died down. It is a short walk into the town which is worth a visit. St Petersburg disembarkation is long and we spent 40 minutes waiting to get through passport control, well worth the wait. We booked the city highlight tour with TJ tours, so much cheaper than booking with the cruise. Out tour guide Victoria was exceptionally, we got in all the palaces before the crowds and her knowledge was excellent. We walked into Helsinki no need to book a tour as you can walk into the city within 15 minutes. The markets are very good and reasonable. Stockolm was an hours train ride away but worth the effort. We walked to the station following the painted lines to the train station. Buy your tickets from the machine on the platform but be aware that you can only purchase 1 ticket at a time. If you purchase them from the shop they charge you more. Stockolm is a wonderful city, perhaps the most scenic of all the cities on the tour. Definatly worth a visit to the palace and watching the changing of the guards. We would definalty travel on the breakaway again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Overall our experience on the Breakaway was positive, my main complaint would be the short time we spent in some ports or the long distances back to the ship – Stockholm is an issue because they dock in Nynashamn; Berlin (if you choose ... Read More
Overall our experience on the Breakaway was positive, my main complaint would be the short time we spent in some ports or the long distances back to the ship – Stockholm is an issue because they dock in Nynashamn; Berlin (if you choose to go into the city) is a 3 hour trip and we had an early departure in Helsinki. I felt we were always rushed to get back to the ship. We did not go on any NCL organized excursions. Having read previous reviews regarding dining madness on the Breakaway with people grabbing food left, right and center I was somewhat concerned before boarding the ship but I must say our dining experience was uneventful and nothing like the craziness others have described. We mostly ate at the Garden Café buffet but did eat at Savor several times (if you go early, before it is busy, you can avoid the cold food issue others have mentioned). Savor was ok (same menu as Manhattan's and Taste), one of the three meals was very good the other two middling. The buffet food was typical of mass feeding quality but the variety was good. Each night had a theme (i.e. Russian night, American night etc) but the standard fare was always available. Seating can be troublesome at the Garden Café if you go when it is busy. We had a mini suite which is not a suite at all, but simply a room with three beds and a slightly larger bathroom than the average cabin and a small balcony. The room was quiet however (we were on deck 12) and the porter kept it clean; sitting on the balcony was nice. Other than sleeping time we were rarely in the room so it served its purpose. We boarded the ship in Copenhagen having spent several days in the city to help adjust to the time change. We had no issues taking a bus to the port from the city – it takes you right to the ship. We also took the bus back to the airport following the cruise – it was simple (1 change) and you can buy tickets at a machine close to the bus stop (and I would buy tickets because we were checked for valid tickets at some point on the bus ride). Copenhagen is a beautiful city and we just loved it – it is expensive however with 25% sales tax and when converting to Canadian dollars was always a shock ($11.50 for an Ice Coffee, $32.00 for a veggie burger). We stayed in an AirBNB. Embarkation and disembarkment went smoothly. Berlin: Having recently read that Trip Advisor ranked a bike tour of Berlin as the 2nd best rated adventure worldwide we booked a bike tour of the city. Having done this now though I probably would not recommend this for cruisers, the trip to the city in a bus was about 3 hours, it then took about 30 -40 minutes to get to the bike place - the tour including lunch was about 3.5 hours then back on the subway to the bus then the bus ride back to the ship. That is at least 7 hours of travelling for a 3.5 hour tour - the tour was fun but we really zoomed around with stops including the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie (or the more appropriately named Snapchat Charlie now), the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the Brandenburg Gate. I do like bike tours in general however, beats sitting in a bus and you can't cover enough ground walking. Tallin Estonia is a picturesque small town. We walked off the ship and found a free walking tour by the tourist office in the main square that leaves that departed around noon. I would recommend a guided tour to provide the background to the sites. After the tour we walked around a bit on our own then went back to the ship. The weather was fantastic and the crowds not too bad. St Petersburg. We booked a deluxe tour with Denrus Tours - there were only seven of us on the tour and we saw a lot. Our guide was very knowledgeable and personable and the driver did a great job of getting us through traffic. The tour was very well organized. Going through immigration in St Petersburg is slow on the first day and the ship let those on the NCL excursions go first, but we departed the ship at around 8:30 and met our guide around 9. The Faberge museum was probably the highlight, we rushed through the Hermitage and several churches (I think the guide wanted to get home early on the first day – the tour was supposed to end at 5 but we were back on the ship at 4 having rushed through 2 churches spending about 10 minutes in each.) The food provided on the first day was poor but better on the 2nd. I was surprised to see the European style of many buildings and the spotless art-gallery like subway. In Helsinki we took a bus into town, wondered around the market square a bit (really just a touristy bunch of stalls) then took the ferry to the Suomenlinna fortress island where we walked for a few hours and had a nice luch. The fortress was reasonably interesting and a nice change from walking city streets. We felt rushed in Helsinki however because we had an early departure and had to be back at the ship around 4:00. Stockholm: Because the Breakaway docks in Nynashamn we took the train into the city from our port (about 1 hour including walking time to the train – the path is well marked). Not nearly enough time at this port – there is a lot to see in Stockholm and we were very rushed. It is unfortunate that the ship does not dock in the city; we saw a German cruise ship docked right by the old town. We once again did a free walking tour, it was ok but not great and we explored the old Town mostly on our own. It was recommended that we leave Stockholm on 3:40 train (I believe) to give us plenty of time to get back to the ship if the train was delayed. I would have liked to have stayed a 2nd day here (rather than what seemed like ½ a day). The ship’s onboard entertainment was ok, Burn the Floor had pretty good dancers but a standard dance show and nothing unique or outstanding. The Cirque Jungle Fantasy was good but the performance is only 45 minutes (not including dinner). I have already seen Rock of Ages in Toronto but went to see it again – I thought the performance was good (but not for everyone). There was an untalented magician with an uninspiring show whose last trick failed (he went out with a whimper rather than a bang). The expectation on the ship seems to be that you are there for the ports of call, not to swim. There are limited swimming pools (you can find an adults only section called H2O but this is not strictly enforced). The pools are busy on at-sea days but no one was pushy. The hot tubs seemed underused. The gym had plenty of treadmills and elliptical's and some weight machines. We took a class - it was tough but not worth the money for a 30 minute class (plus you did not get the body fat test etc that was promised). I used the daily roaming plan with my phone which cost $12.00 a day (Canadian). This provided us with adequate coverage and I set up my phone as a hotspot so the kids could use my data and we did not need to pay roaming for all. You have to be careful if you leave the roaming on while you are at sea however because your phone might connect to a satellite instead and this is very expensive (onboard roaming is not available through the phone company). Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our second time on Zuiderdam, and the dry dock has definitely freshened its appearance. We did a 10 day Baltic cruise during the height of a record setting heat wave, but the ship was always cool and comfortable and in top ... Read More
This was our second time on Zuiderdam, and the dry dock has definitely freshened its appearance. We did a 10 day Baltic cruise during the height of a record setting heat wave, but the ship was always cool and comfortable and in top condition. The Good: Very comfortable suite with great bed, nice veranda furniture, spacious dual sink. Music walk concept provided a variety of music by excellent performers. Specialty dining was very good. Staff at every level was first rate and helpful. Shore excursions were well run with interesting itineraries. Bar drinks were reasonably priced. Shops were well stocked with some designer items (Nautica, Tommy Bahama). The bad (or less than perfect): Main Dining room food was inconsistent from very good to so-so, and there were a few instances of overcooked entrees. Breakfast servings were not always as hot as they should be. Lido actually did a better breakfast, especially the omelet bar. The cabin had a great Samsung 50in TV but very little to watch, either live or on demand. Internet service was so slow as to be almost worthless. Bottled water was overpriced. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018

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